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Rose season is ending

This has been a curious year, so far. The late-starting rains are finally tailing off, though the weather remains cool for the time of year. The warm climate roses bloomed early, at their best in March; the once-bloomers are now winding up. In spite of all the rain, and it was badly needed, while the roses sent out highly desirable new canes, the flowering wasn't that good: the shrubs were overwhelmed by the grasses (future mulch, at least), and NEVER have I seen such an explosion of beetles (where are the badgers? the moles? the hedgehogs?), and so much foliage disease, though much of it was on the aging growth.

I have to do something about the grass. I inquired, and found out that the local supermarket will let me have all the cardboard boxes I want. I must start doing something about the grass in the beds, mulch or no. The grass got nearly as tall as me, here and there. DH is still battling valiantly against it with his motor scythe, but the rampant growth obscured the boundaries of the beds to the point that even I couldn't always tell where the paths ended and the beds began, and DH cut through the beds here and there, mowing down roses. At least they're mostly coming back.

So, lately, I've been doing housekeeping. We ordered 5' stakes of sturdy rebar from our hugely useful rebar factory, and rolls of rope from one of the local hardwares. It is fun to go in the back of the store with the owner and discuss rope options amid the supplies and implements: one of the pleasures of living in a small community. Rebar and ropes will be used to outline the beds and discourage mowing in the wrong places. I'll experiment with placing cardboard. DH continues his mowing; I continue clearing out the beds, even though it's too late to see much in the way of bloom. But it will be tidier, and summer after the roses is a joy in its own way. And I'm planning more roses, taking--propagating--from the current population, for fall, to fill holes in the beds. The hedges backing the rose beds, almost completely planted by now, are doing pretty well.

We also uncovered some roses of whose existence I had previously, mostly, not known. These were from a disastrous planting, in 2016? I think, where they got lost and I never got back to them. A few treasure salvaged from the wreckage. We cleared around them and marked them, and who knows, perhaps one day I'll figure out what they are.

'Jaune Desprez' is making a modest second flowering, as I can see from my east-facing bedroom window; the blooms aren't numerous, but their quality is excellent. 'Brenda Colvin', a seedling of 'Kiftsgate', over the years has draped herself lavishly over three trees, and had a really lovely flowering this year, just ending now. Ramblers and trees, what a marvelous combination. Speaking of ramblers, among the survivors of my Tuincentrum Lottum order of a few years ago are two ramblers, plus one of uncertain origin that I transplanted around that same time, all growing along the main road through the garden between the Italian cypresses lining the road. We caged them, using fencing and some of the rebar, to protect them from deer--and DH's motor scythe--until they build up size. The idea is that in time the roses will either become mounds and fountains of bloom, or will head up the cypresses: either is fine with me. I've concentrated on Wichuriana ramblers, which seem to be among the ones that do best here, and which are, to my eyes, among the most beautiful.

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